Lighting: LEDs and Reclaimed Fixtures
(images via: instructables, inhabitat)
If you’re building a new kitchen or completely remodeling your current kitchen, consider the best lighting source of all: natural daylight. Large windows or skylights can make a kitchen feel so much more welcoming and eliminate the need to use additional lighting at all during the day. For nighttime lighting, a combination of LEDs and compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs) will cover your needs without using a lot of energy. LEDs are ideal for under-cabinet lighting and accent lights. For fixtures, look for recycled glass, or consider making your own recycled and reclaimed lighting using unexpected materials like mason jars or blenders.
Non-Toxic Paint, Adhesives & Finishes
(images via: apartment therapy)
Environmentally safe adhesives are important for installing kitchen cabinets, countertops and other elements of an eco-friendly kitchen. Look for low- or no-VOC products like EcoBond, which is not only zero-VOC but also meets the stringent requirements of California’s Prop 65, which limits carcinogenic substances. EcoBond is free of substances like urethane, but performs just as well as conventional adhesives. Non-toxic paint has become much more common, readily available in most home improvement stores. One of the most eco-friendly paints of them all is milk paint, a non-toxic water-based paint made from milk and lime. TimberSoy is a sustainable, bio-based, eco-friendly wood stain.